Freedom Day! 11th Month Edition

Our continuing mission to seek out new opportunities, new wealth and prosperity has hit yet more snags. I’ve been off work for 11 months with no prospects for gainful employment in sight. The government is not helping yet or possibly at all. The bills are starting to creep up.

Captain’s Log. Stardate: 6.19.2022.

Our continuing mission to seek out new opportunities, new wealth and prosperity has hit yet more snags. I’ve been off work for 11 months with no prospects for gainful employment in sight. The government is not helping yet or possibly at all. The bills are starting to creep up.

A family of six surviving on one paycheck in this day and age looks pretty grim. Law of Attraction aficionados would say I chose this. Lord knows I have plenty of reasons to be down these days. Guess I’m choosing depression, too. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just bury my head in the sand and just pretend things were going to improve.

Site engagement has been up.

THANK YOU!

One silver lining this month has been engagement on this site. I saw a couple of beautiful spikes in views earlier this month. Wow! If you’re here, thank you! I appreciate you stopping by.

A lot of the feedback I’ve received from sources such as #ttrpg Twitter has been extremely positive. I’m still somewhat new to blogging and it makes my heart flutter a bit when I hear a compliment. Thank you! Of course, more site traffic isn’t a sign of positive or negative opinions, but I’ll take the up-tick in views. Thank you!

Then there’s a ton of stuff that doesn’t make much sense yet.

I regularly mull over what I’m doing right in terms of writing, parenting, husbanding, adulting, etc. There’s never a super clear answer to any of my questions. It’s not like life comes with a user’s manual. Kinda wish it did some days. (Like, the ones ending in “y.”)

I keep wondering about how to best monetize myself in the roleplaying game market. Kickstarter? Patreon? Maybe just put stuff on Ko-Fi? I’m not sure I’m ready for DriveThruRPG just yet. That would require a finished larger product.

Someone recently mentioned trying out Fiverr. (Coming Soon!) I have often considered doing piece work, short articles, and social media posts. The same wonderful person mentioned possibly doing some ghostwriting or editing. Terrifying, which is why I’m looking into it.

Then again, am I really supposed to be in the RPG market at all? What about writing a novel? (Not as easy as it sounds, btw.) What about life coaching? (LOL! Not sure if I should be coaching or finding one.) What about becoming some sort of spiritual teacher? (*Don’t worry. Andey Fellowes and others would talk me down off that ledge.) What about a self help book? (Uh… 😐)

Figured out what I’m not doing.

That list goes on forever. The most obvious ones include finding another dispatching job. No thanks PTSD. Not today.

Scrubbing floors is right out. Even if my back and pain levels could tolerate it, my wife would likely shoot me. The hours for that kind of work are not worth the pay and effort involved.

Iowa Workforce Development. There’s a reason I’m no longer looking for a job in this state. They were more than happy to help as long as I wasn’t neurodivergent, in pain, and happy to throw my college degree out the window. Iowa needs dental hygienists and welders. Just don’t come around here being one of those sinister teacher types. (*Love you, wife.)

I’m too old and out of shape for retail, restaurants, factories, and office jobs. I have too many values and principles to ever do sales, especially over the phone. Call center jobs tend to become very stressful and triggering about five minutes in. I don’t even think Wal Mart would take me as a door greeter at this point.

In fact, screw working for any kind of big company or corporation ever again. Even if all the corporate culture head trash didn’t make me want to vomit, I’m pretty sure any review I receive is going to trigger me all over the place. That’s assuming we get that far. “Let’s have a meeting” would be followed by me coming completely unglued on someone. No thanks.

Bring my Garden Weasel to work day?

A brilliant and beautiful soul put me onto some new avenues of abundance.

Laura is the best!

I can always count on my friend Laura DiBenedetto to set me straight. She recently clued me into a couple of new avenues to abundance. I’m working on it, but it’s taking a little time. More on that as it develops.

I also continue to practice the skills I learned from The Six Habits. Laura’s book legitimately can and will change your life if you work with it. I may still get down sometimes (depression sucks!) but it’s an ongoing process, much like spiritual awakening.

The human brain creates channels of memory like lava carving its way down the side of a volcano. Practice a habit for 21 days and you can change the channel. Brain cells that fire together wire together. Neuroplasticity can modify those channels to improve your life. Look up Hebb’s Law. A constant practice of Kindness, Acceptance, Gratitude, Presence, Goodness and Intention will yield positive results given enough practice.

I’ve been back into the book lately, myself. Sometimes we get out of practice on certain things. It’s good to go back to basics and remember why we came here.

Gratitude is key.

Okay. I’ll buy that one. I’m so happy and grateful I have a roof over my head and a food on my plate. I’m grateful for all of the wonderful things I have in life. I’m grateful for my family’s health. I’m super extra grateful for my wife’s job. I’m super happy and grateful when I find loose change on the street, too. I’m grateful I met Laura, too.

Gonna go off now…

I’d like to say I’m grateful I got canned from that last gig. Look at all the stuff that’s teaching me. I’m grateful to be walking around with not-two-shits to give about anyone working for a large corporation or what they have to say. I’m grateful Iowa Workforce Development was more than happy to help as long as I did exactly what they wanted me to do. I’m extra grateful the government keeps denying my disability because I love being f’kn broke all the time. I’m grateful every time I log into LinkedIn to find out some other scamtastic pile of refuse has viewed my profile, because it reminds me I’m glad I gave up that damn job search crap months ago.

I know I have some things working against me every day.

Silly “Old Grognard” photo

First up, my age. I turn the big 50 in ten days. Even if I wasn’t long in the beard and bald as a cue ball, my birth certificate does not lie. I could shave tomorrow, but I know in my heart of hearts it will do me no good.

But what does that mean? Why is that so bad? Well, first off, employers really don’t want to see me walk in the door because they know I’m old enough not to take any sh*t that they hand out to the younger new guys.

On every given day, especially now that I’m officially “old,” my health comes into question. Which, I know how much they cringe with FMLA comes up. I literally have no choice but to mention it nowadays. I’m happy to be functional three days out of five most of the time.

My back and my pain tolerance make it pretty hard to do a lot of those fun repetitive motion tasks like mopping floors, scrubbing toilets, running a cash register, stocking shelves, standing all day, and a lot of other things y’all youngins take for granted. In fact, writing is one of the few things I can enjoy doing while sitting down from the comfort of my couch. (Too bad it doesn’t pay better, but we’re working on it.)

As bitterly annoyed as I am becoming toward certain entities, one fact remains prevalent.

No clue wtf I’m doing any more.

I have a family to take care of. That hurts on so many levels I can’t even describe them all. I’m very grateful my wife is taking care of all of us. That’s super.

Sorry, kids. Dad’s kind of a deadbeat. Seriously, I know how it looks. I wish I could provide more. I so desperately want to give more financially. And I live here. Your mom and I are still married somehow.

So, yeah. 11 months into this sh*tshow and I still have more questions than answers. I’m still wrestling with finding myself, accepting my own inadequacies, and fumbling around with what to do. I’m still unable to rub two shince together and have not two sh*ts left to give some days. Improvements are hopefully on the way soon.

Thanks for being here, one and all. I would have liked to have glowing things to say, but it’s been another r month. Onward and upward, I suppose.


Minimum Wage (Off Topic)

Don’t beg the government to help. Tell these billionaires to start giving back a little. What’s a BILLION dollars more toward the people who work for them worth?

The United States Makes Me Feel Sad.

Someone quoted what the richest men in America make. $189+ Billion? 216+ Billion? Minimum wage hasn’t moved significantly in a couple of decades. Anyone else see a problem here?

It’s no wonder people are quitting their jobs in record numbers. It’s no wonder McDonald’s posted a letter intended to strike fear into the hearts of people thinking of quitting. Corporate America is mentally ill at the top. I’m sorry. It’s true.

The problem does not involve government.

For the record, I’m not down with Communists nor Socialists. We don’t need the government to step in to “tax the rich.” Why? Have you seen how much these politicians make? Congress can vote itself a pay raise anyway. There’s no sense going after them.

This involves company leadership being smart enough to hand out PAY INCREASES! Screw minimum wage. Hire people at $15 an hour or more. Hell, look at the cost of living in any giving operating area and match it!

Will it ever happen? Optimistically, I still doubt it. You really don’t make billions by philanthropy and paying really good wages all the way to the bottom. Most of the time middle management is where the pay begins to drop off.

Not to sound super old fashioned, but we should all be so lucky.

We’re supposed to look up to our leaders in business, finance, education, politics, entertainment and so on, right? We want to be in that 1%, right? Personally, I never begrudge someone for being rich. Good for them! They made it. I love money! I would love to have more of it.

Sadly, most won’t give back. Most don’t give back. Amazon can afford to put William Shatner into space, but their truck drivers are peeing into a jar for fear of falling behind schedule. See the disparity?

I could get by on a million dollars or less per year.

I’m guessing most of us can, regardless. But would it really hurt Elon Musk to take a pay cut and pay his people more? Could Besos get by on half of what he makes in a year and pay his drivers to take a break occasionally? How hard can it be?

Seriously, if I ever hit millionaire status, I’ll probably pull up roots and move off the grid in the North woods somewhere. That’s kind of still the dream. Will I make sure my family and my workers (however few there may be) are paid very handsomely for their help? Absolutely. I promise, if I ever hit big and have the funds, I’ll gladly give back. It’s the least someone can do from that position.

Have a lovely week. Please stay healthy. Stay hydrated. Please be kind to one another. See ya soon.

Freedom Day! Sixth Month Edition.

Getting fired from a job I was really starting to despise was practically a relief. Every month I celebrate my personal freedom. I am so happy and grateful for all of life’s experiences.

I’ve been at this since July 19, 2021.

Since then, I’ve had many wonderful, warm, happy, spiritual experiences. It’s been mostly peaceful, downright pleasant. About the only downside has been the change in stable income. I went from a level I was very comfortable with to, uh… yeah. Still working on that one. But it’s all good.

I will say I don’t miss the grind. We’re getting by okay on one income. The bills are covered. Personally, I’m working on some writing projects and looking for writing jobs so I can pass the goodness onto my friends in the TTRPG community and elsewhere.

There are literally no regrets otherwise. All the crapola that came with that job otherwise? They can keep it. I wish I could say more, but I don’t feel like getting sued. I am a big believer in karma, though.

It was never exactly the plan I intended.

I really mean it. Please take care of your needs and those of your loved ones.

My intentions looked a lot different originally. I intended to be wealthy with a steady enough stream of income to retire somewhere in the Pacific Northwest US and never effectively be heard from again aside from social media and my written work and YouTube. (I still intend to retire to a quiet cabin next to a lake some day.) That was mid-2019, before everything totally went to pieces worldwide.

Needless to say the lockdowns/quarantines from COVID brought us closer as a family. I’m pretty happy being around my family these days. My wife has been extremely loving and understanding about the whole unemployment thing so far. Lord knows I’ve dated women before her that would have kicked me to the curb a lot sooner. Yes, the kids still tend to drive me a little batty, much like any parent, but I love them to pieces.

I originally intended to fulfill a more spiritual mission as it related to Ufology. I wanted to bridge the gap between the nuts-and-bolts ufologists and the more spiritual side of Ufology. While it may happen some day, it probably won’t be me that gets it done. Too many people have too much to lose to give up their stream of income and jaded opinions to cross over to the other side of the fence in both communities. I have more love than ever for the Experiencer community, though.

Mental Health Matters!

Therapy. Needed. Badly…

I remember that night six months ago. They met me at the door and pulled me into a side office. I knew instantly what was going down, reaffirmed by the contents of my desk sitting in a box on the table. I think we’ve all seen this before. All the specifics are kind of a blur because our mind seeks to protect us from pain/trauma. I wasn’t especially hurt or angry. More like slightly annoyed and disappointed.

Really the biggest question in my mind was what to tell the kids. My wife had often said the writing was on the Jumbotron and that it was no real surprise. Yet, my number one biggest concern was for her and the kids.

You know what? It turns out that my loving wife sees me as more than a paycheck. She totally shattered that misconception when she touched my arm and told me it was going to be okay. Not gonna lie, I cried a little over that.

Yes, I’ve had bouts of depression and anxiety since. It happens. It’s normal for many of us, despite the social stigma attached to it. “Cheer up,” and “Don’t worry,” don’t magically make depression and anxiety go away. Honest. Unemployment has done wonders for my anxiety, though. There’s less to worry about when I’m home all day with the cats and no shitz to give otherwise.

My inner critic calls me everything from “deadbeat” to “freeloading loser.”

To him, I say, “Go fly a kite. Soaked in gasoline. In Hell. Don’t care.”

You might have guessed by now that I still need therapy. I’m still in therapy. I was going back to my therapist before they canned me because things had gotten pretty grim mental health wise, anyway. Truthfully, I was pretty relieved not having to go back to that place.

Who knows? Another six months of therapy might even see me wanting to be around people again. I might even go see if I can get hired as a door greeter at the local Wally World. Between my physical and mental health, we know for sure there are certain jobs I won’t touch ever again.

At least I can proudly say my mental health is improving. I know there are a lot of people quitting their jobs right now because they’re tired of the crap. Love them. They’re doing the right thing for it. Employers need to learn what they can’t get away with if they want to retain people. You know what’s truly crazy? Working somewhere that pays less than what one is worth, for long hours, crappy benefits, and harsh criticism.

That’s probably the thing that drove me into therapy the most. It’s one thing to criticize someone’s job performance in the name of improving the company. I get that. But when they literally tell you to internalize that they think you’re less than mediocre? Another reason for me to NEVER set foot in an office environment again. Sorry, I just don’t have the personal resources to handle that. Again, I believe in karma.

I got the boot a couple of weeks after that total downer of a review. No surprise, really. Just annoying. Treat people the way you would want them to treat you. And middle finger on each hand up to corporate America for some of their contrary values.

I am a spiritual being having a physical experience. When I’m not afraid to die, I’m not afraid of anything that can be said to me. However, I still have feelings and free will. Luckily, I choose in every now moment to stay calm, forgive, and remember we’re all here on the Earth plane to have these types of (crappy) experiences. Some day I’ll tell you what all I’ve learned. LOL!

Not a millionaire yet. Just going for joy.

Time to get creative!

I’m not going to do the whole sappy happiness-over-money bit. Money serves a very important function in society. It buys me a lot of things that brings joy, plus it helps people. I love wealth and prosperity. I admire people who have more than I do. Sure. Why begrudge anyone their happiness and prosperity? We should all be so fortunate.

That all said, I can write for enjoyment. I’m not fighting through the chronic pain every day to crawl into work just to be miserable some more. (God/Source/Universe bless you if you do.) I don’t have an overzealous middle management supervisor breathing down my neck and I’m not just a meaningless cog in the corporate machine any more. Years of stress and not taking care of myself in the name of the almighty dollar left me with a wrecked body and tons of pain. Please, do yourself a favor and take care of you, too.

Now, I’m waiting for the good graces of government and/or a remote job to come through. Otherwise, I’m writing for fun and ttrpg money. I’m going to stamp my own personal NaNoWriMo on a month coming up assuming everyone is healthy (and nothing else is going on) to knock out my first actual novel.

What’s all this TTRPG business about?

DMSGuild.com Just one of the places I want to get published.

For those unfamiliar with the term, TTRPG stands for Table Top Role Playing Game. Some would recognize Dungeons & Dragons as probably the most popular ttrpg on the market today. Of course there are literally hundreds of ttrpgs out there in the world in every genre imaginable with as many systems as one would care to learn.

I discovered a very warm, very welcoming #ttrpg community on Twitter a few months ago after the Añjali fracas left a very bad taste in my mouth. My new online friends have helped me realize that running, writing, and discussing roleplaying games truly does make me happy. Remember that whole joy thing? Yeah. That’s my joy.

Plus, having all this time off because employers want to hire me about as bad as I want to work for some of them has given me a lot of time to learn interesting new skills and embrace old ones. I’m getting back into blogging, web design, and social media a bit. Maybe I’ll even do some freelance work along those lines eventually.

I’m looking at dropping some of my own written ttrpg work onto DriveThruRPG, the DMSGuild and possibly starting something on Itch.IO going forward along with some freelance writing jobs in the industry. I’m aspiring for that electrum best seller spot on OneBookShelf.com on at least one of their affiliate sites. Years of being turned down by game companies have taught me the best way into the industry is to just do the darn thing and publish it myself.

This year is looking up so far. Yes, steady income is cool and all, but doing something I love to the point where it is almost indistinguishable from daily living is priceless. Plus I have more family time than ever, which has been nice.

That’s why my blog has mostly changed. I’m still dropping some spiritual stuff here and there along with my personal shares. Mostly, my goal is to post about that which really lights me up now or things I’m passionate about one way or the other. This might be the last Freedom Day update for a while. I’ll keep everyone posted if things change.

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